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Any other tutors on here? I honestly don't know what to do in this situation.

(13 Posts)
Wiifitmama Tue 25-Mar-14 20:14:17

I tutor primary kids in their own homes through a good agency. One family that I work with twice a week has a father that smokes cigars. When I started almost two years ago, this was not a problem as they lived in a house with a garden and he smoked out there. A year ago they moved to a flat with no outside space. He travels a lot so is often not there when I am there (he works from home when he is there). But when he is home, he smokes his cigars. I am finding increasingly that he does this while I am there as he uses that time to work while I am with the child. Although he is smoking in a separate room with the door shut and I am in another room with the door shut, the smell is everywhere. I feel like I am spending two hours breathing in his smoke and then I come home with all my clothes, hair, coat etc reeking of it. And cigar smoke is really a horrible horrible smell.

Now I realise it is his own home and he has the right to smoke and do what he likes in it. But it is also my "workplace" and I have reached the end of my tether. I like the family and don't want to alienate them. And they like me - a lot. Asking him not to smoke while I am there seems an enormous imposition. But I have no idea what else to do. Any other tutors that have been in this position?

Wiifitmama Tue 25-Mar-14 20:38:34

Bump. Please someone tell me what to do!

traviata Tue 25-Mar-14 20:44:15

what if you said that you had developed an allergy to smoke, so it did not sound like a preference by you but a health issue?

would it be enough if he didn't smoke during your lesson, the smell would still be there and would cling to your clothes just from sitting in the flat.

Beccadugs Tue 25-Mar-14 20:44:33

How horrid.
Not sure what to suggest. In my day job (I tutor, but from home) I visit members of the "public". Some of the houses reek. I deal with this by making sure I leave my coat in the car. I also don't wear drycleaning only jumpers that day, and trousers and cardis, that I might wear more than once between washes, are on their last day so it can all be washed. Not sure that will really help...

ThePartyArtist Tue 25-Mar-14 20:54:25

Can you suggest tutoring at the library? E.g. suggest it is for benefit of the child as you're going to start using library reference material during the sessions? Alternatively if you have to say something at least you're off to a good start with the family already knowing and liking you.

flumperoo Tue 25-Mar-14 20:54:31

I would just tell them that you can't work there anymore becuase of the smoking. Then they have a choice - they can either let you go or ban the smoking whilst you're there.

Wiifitmama Tue 25-Mar-14 20:55:22

I would be thrilled if eye just didn't smoke while I was there. No way could I tell him never to smoke in his own home! Yes it does smell when he has smoke before I get there, but I open the window and it is not as bad.

I can't not take my coat as I live in central London and take the tube and walk to work. I would freeze without a coat. All my clothes have to be washed and today I was wearing a homemade wool skirt that will now be a pain to wash. I will have to not wear anything like that. I often have to wash my coat too which is such a pain as I am there twice a week.

Wiifitmama Tue 25-Mar-14 20:56:35

Sorry, cross posted. Library is not an option. It has to be in their home.

Yes, I fear that I will just have to say that I can't work the if he is smoking sad

I like the family a lot. I hate the idea of doing this.

Lomaamina Thu 27-Mar-14 20:12:31

I'm not a tutor, but for what it's worth it sounds as if the must value you simply because, clearly, you're dedicated to the job. Any decent person would be appalled that you were suffering in silence. So long as you broach this politely, emphasising how much you enjoy this job, but you cannot work in this environment, I'd hope to goodness they'd seek a solution.

Lomaamina Thu 27-Mar-14 20:13:39

Make it their problem: can the help you carry out your valuable role in comfort?

TheKnightsThatSayNee Thu 27-Mar-14 20:20:02

Just say if prefer if you didn't smoke. He won't be able to smell it anymore so he probably doesnt realise. You well within your rights and any reasonable person would be happy to oblige.

AntoinetteCosway Thu 27-Mar-14 20:34:09

Could you make a bit of a show of coughing and rubbing your eyes so he asks whether it's bothering you?

MarvellousMabel Fri 28-Mar-14 16:08:01

Could you be pregnant?

I used this far more than necessary for my job!

Not a great plan if you plan to see the family more than a couple of times though.

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